Monthly Archives: April 2011

Writing Challenge: Running

Marathon Month

How is marathon month going? Are you still at it? Keeping up? Hitting your wall? Haven’t really started yet? I was hoping to get A LOT done this month and things have been slower than I anticipated. Much slower. But that’s okay.

For today’s writing challenge, take a long hard look at #357 up there. If the MC in your WIP was in the same race, how would they be feeling right now? Would they be catching up to Mr. 357? Would they be ahead of him? Would they be panting after a few feet? Hitch a ride with someone?  Write a brief scene with your MC at a marathon. Play around with it. Think about why they’d be there; What would be the motivation? How would they prepare? Would they prepare? Who else would be there to cheer them on/compete with them?

Post your piece here and let’s see if in just one scene we can get an idea of the kind of person your MC is.


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Fantastic Interview by Cherylynne Bago

Today I have in interview with the lovely Ginger, a 12 (and a half) year old who is in the sixth grade and has read over 300 books in the past two years.  As far as I’m concerned, this is our audience.  This is the reader we all dream of.  And so I wanted to know what she thought.

1. What is your favorite genre to read?  Why?

I love fantasy because it makes me feel like I can go anywhere and dream up anything without people telling me “no.”

2. Who are your top five favorite authors right now?

My favorites are Rick Riordan, Bree Despain, Jane Austen, William Shakespeare.

3. What is it that makes you decide to pick up a book? Is it the cover? The title? The description?

Well, it’s more like steps. If it has a cool cover and name I look at the description and then I read the book.

4. Can you tell in the first chapter whether or not you’re going to like the book?  What decides it for you?

Well, normally I’m very openminded about the first chapter because maybe you need to give it a chance and it will get better.

5. Is there anything that you often see in books that annoys you?

What annoys me is when by the fifth chapter it still has a slow pace or the chapters don’t make sense.

6. Are there any books that you absolutely refuse to read?

I absolutely refuse to read math books or political books. They drive me mad.

7. What kind of books do you think there is “room on the shelf” for?

I have no room on my bookshelves. I always try and find room somewhere. I love books and rarely ever turn them away.

If you want to know what else Ginger is reading, check out her blog at


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My littlest one (for now) carries around all his cars in a gigantic Mr. Potato Head. He washes them almost every day, is fond of putting them in unsuspecting shoes, and likes to unzip my pillow and stuff them inside when I am making dinner or doing something else.

Who cares.

I care.

I care about Mr. Potato Head.

I care that he cares about Mr. Potato Head.

Someone (the older one) just opened the door to his room and he’s sneaking to me. I should get mad but I don’t have the energy. He says he needs one more kiss and one more hug. He is my little Frances.

Today I lost my temper a few times. Like when they took off all their clothes to run around as “naked boys!” and that’s not so bad but does the two year old NEED his diaper off? I cannot handle bare butt sitting on all kinds of surfaces today. Please. At least keep your diaper on. Please.

I hate it when I lose my temper. Like really lose it. It happens and while it’s happening and after it happened I think, is this me? What is going on? And I’m sad.

I am a mom. I am not a good mom sometimes. My house is covered in crumbs. I have 305 unfinished projects. I get tired way too easily. But I am a mom.

I am a writer too. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like it. Almost all the time it doesn’t feel like it. These little ones, my husband, this house, my emotions, fill up so much of my head and my heart that it feels like there isn’t much left to give–to pretend people.

Pretend people are important. I think really important sometimes. They’ve helped me through a lot of rough times; they’ve made me laugh; they’ve made me cry; they’ve made me understand things I couldn’t understand otherwise. I love pretend people.

But. In the end, real people are more important than pretend people.

I am trying to let myself go. Let myself be who I am instead of who I think I should be.

I don’t know how it’s going to end up but at least I’m trying.



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Several Things that are Not Related and My Anxiety

A. I had it again last night.

The panic that made me think I was going to have a heart attack.

Or else it was the pre-stuff before a heart attack. Did you know that women (not just paranoid women) sometimes KNOW they are going to have something bad happen to them a few weeks before the attack? Well, that’s true according to something I read. Do you know how many heart attacks I’ve been going to have the last couple of years? A danged lot.

Thank you, Mr. Anxiety. I love you, too.

B. I met some AMAZING people this last weekend (when I should have been moving).

Lucinda was there, of course, and wonderful Neysa Jensen who is an excellent hostess, so laid back and fun and such a pleasure to be with. I met Judy Cox a terrific picture book writer and Sydney Salter (she has a new agent) and then there was Jennifer Rofé, agent from Andrea Brown Literary Agency, too. She was terrific (they seem to be pretty darn good agents at ABA!), funny, lively and smart. I enjoyed talking to her. While at the final dinner, it was pointed out to me that my four-way sweatshirt is even more multipurpose than just its incredible fashion versatility. Why, this sweatshirt has helped me moved, write many novels, clean, make dinner, drive people here and there AND I very nearly used the sweatshirt in my talk but I forgot it. I loved realizing this with the help of a friend.

C. If you have spring allergies, do not drink milk.

D. Yogurt is a milk product.

E. I had a dream last night made me happy. I was at a party. I’m not sure where I was, but lots of my friends were there including Chris Crowe (who’s still in England) and Alex Henry (who lives in Louisiana). This was a writer’s party/now that I think of it maybe it was a conference, but whatever, it somehow evolved into a dance party. Poor Alex was going to have to dance with me because I was making him. Someone turned on Michael Jackson and when I opened my eyes in the morning, I was smiling.

F. I’ve kind of been evaluating my life a little this morning and I think that there are these way important parts of it. A sort-of important part (pretty darn important, actually) is my writing. As some of you know, I’m a complainer and I’ve felt, lately, I’ve had reason to complain. Somehow, with all that was going on, I’ve managed to write. Just remember, we make time for what is important to us. If you want to write, if it means something to you, you write. And attending all the writing conferences in the world won’t help you if you don’t put pen to paper.

G. My anxiety works hard to keep away the good parts of my life. I hope I can fight it.

H. It’s raining. How can I move stuff when it’s raining?


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